The End

This blog is now closed. The story continues over on Flip Flops and Flying Carpets.

Thank you for reading.

Lines of Light and Dark

Last year, as summer came to an end here in the UK, I was invited to be a guest blogger on Biscuit in the Basket. This year, to mark the beginning of a brand new summer, I'd like to repost my piece here. Hope you enjoy it!


September 2009

England's not exactly known for it's sunny days, but this summer there've been a good few of them. Sunlight fills me with joy: It reminds me of brilliant summers in Malta when I was young. We lived in an old house which was over a hundred years old and had once been a guesthouse for the posh and pompous. Downstairs, our bedrooms, had been the maids' quarters. There was a little storeroom, which we used as a study. It was always so dark in there; I would run past it like a flash of lightning, day or night. Surely there were ghosts and other terrifying creatures hiding in that little room, ready to eat me alive.

We lived in that house for 12 years. Yet the strongest memories that remain are summer ones. I don't remember looking out of the window and seeing rain. It always seemed happy. Always full of sunshine. Whether the old wooden shutters were open or closed.

The summers were brilliant. Carefree schoolchildren, books forgotten for the three months of summer. We'd be playing in the paddling pool in the huge garden at the back of the house, when we'd hear a van hooting its horn and a man shouting in Maltese. The pastry man was here. We'd get out of the pool, pull off any swimming aids (clearly unnecessary in a few inches of water but made us feel like professional swimmers), and we'd run through the house, leaving a trail of little foot-sized puddles of water, throw open the front door, coins jingling in our clammy hands, and we'd queue up at the pastry man's van eager for pastries. He had the best ones: the long soft pastries with the white cream and the bright red jam. They were always delicious and we could never have enough of them.

Then one summer he never came again. And we never really thought about it either. That paddling pool always got filled with water though, even when we were technically way too big to fit in it, and when there were far too many friends trying to join in. Anything for some respite from that stifling Mediterranean heat.

Summers quickly came to an end (although our parents always found three entire months never ending!) and memories fast-forward to my sister and I sitting at the kitchen table, suspiciously inspecting our brand new schoolbooks. The shutters would be closed in a further attempt to keep out the heat. But rays of light still seeped in. The room would be filled with alternating lines of light and dark, all around. It felt somewhat reassuring: another school year might be around the corner, but the sun hasn’t quite deserted us yet.